Pub bosses decide to scrap unpopular parking charge

GONE: The Pay and Display charges at The Fleece Inn, Penwortham, have been removed
GONE: The Pay and Display charges at The Fleece Inn, Penwortham, have been removed
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Controversial Pay and Display charges at one of South Ribble’s most popular pubs have been scrapped.

In January, the Spirit Pub Company made the decision to charge £1 for two hours stay on the Fleece Inn car park in Liverpool Road, Penwortham.

They said it was necessary to stop spaces being blocked up for hours on end by people commuting into Preston.

But local businesses and charities raised worries about the affect on donations, volunteers and infirm shoppers.

Jenna Whittingham of the Beauty & The Boutique salon, said it was ruining good will between local businesses.

Now the Pay and Display machine has gone - something the pub company is due to guest feedback - though monitoring will still be taking place.

Jim Kearns, pub manager, said: “The problem we’ve had for a long time is that people park their cars for hours on our car park and there’s no room for our customers.

“The Pay and Display machines did help with that, but the reason they’ve been removed is because the charges to the pub were too high and we were losing money.

“Since the car park has been free again we’re getting the old problems again. At 10am the car park is two thirds full but none of those people are in the pub.

“So while the charges are gone, we will be instructing a company to carry out monitoring and there are signs around to let people know this is the case.

“Local shoppers are welcome to use the spaces for a maximum of 60 minutes, but repeat offenders blocking the spaces for hours will be getting notices on their cars.”

Mr Kearns said that the changes have been well received by customers and members of the local community.

Jenna Whittingham said she was “Over the Moon” about the change of heart.

Priory and Howick Councillor David Howarth said: “It’s a more common sense approach and really, the sort of thing we were looking for from the start.

“There are elderly people who struggle to nip to the chemist or to the local shops and this will be a great help.

“But, there are still people who abuse the car park and therefore the business, so it’s only right that there is some kind of monitoring.”